Welcome to a new decade (well, unless you're one of those people who insists that the 'new' decade starts in 2011 - and celebrated the 'new' millennium in 2001. Seriously, you should have taken the hint when nobody turned up to your party.)
Last night, the Militant family saw the New Year in our in-laws and it was one of the nicest, most mellow New Years I can remember. It was also fun sending text messages across time-zones - with friends from London and Paris texting me 'Happy New Year' five or six hours early, while I got to send my pals in Colorado early 'New Years' from the East Coast (all except for Coffee Bean - sorry, I don't have your number!)
And today, the New Year awaits like a blank slate. I'm really, really excited as I've got big plans for 2010. If the previous year has taught me anything, it's that you can achieve great things if you apply yourself. For example, I never imagined a year ago that 2009 would be the year in which I lost 28lbs and got into the best shape of my life.
So in the interest of focusing my efforts again this year, here are my Militant Ginger New Year's Resolutions:
- Give up alcohol until the 27th January - I've recently found peace with my fondness for wine and beer, so I'm not proposing this for any dreary puritanical or health reasons. However, in an effort to lose these final two pounds and hit my ideal weight of 160lbs, I need to do something drastic. Temporarily cutting out the delicious calories from my favourite beverages will hopefully be enough to tip me over the edge of my weight-loss plateau.
- Earn at least $10,000 from freelance writing/blogging this year - One of my favourite authors, legendary horror writer Stephen King, had a simple criteria for being a 'good' writer. If you got sent a cheque for something that you wrote, and it didn't bounce, than you were a 'good' writer in the most pragmatic and practical of terms. By those standards, this past year's seen me become a 'better' and 'better' writer, with more and more cheques coming in, with larger figures at the bottom of them. I intend to keep that trend going this new year, with an ultimate goal of earning $10,000 from freelance writing projects and blogging.
- Exercise and weight-train three times a week - Similar to the lifestyle adjustments that led to me losing weight, I discovered that just a moderate amount of weight training can lead to a dramatically better body. I actually have muscles for the first time! So while I'm not going to become one of these narcissistic 'gym rats', I am going to continue press-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups and lifting free weights at home to become fitter, stronger and more toned. Basically, I'm going to make sure that when the Militant Family head back to France for the summer, I'm not ashamed to take my shirt off.
- Start becoming financially independent - I had an epiphany this year, in which I realised that the road to financial security and independence doesn't lie along a single income stream from a single career. To that end, I'm going to pursue many different options for creating revenue - and, ultimately, financial security. A few bucks here and a few bucks there might not sound impressive - but when you've got enough of those 'few bucks' coming in from a multitude of sources, it adds up. Also, if you have income from many different sources, instead of just one, it provides a cushion against recession, redundancy or other hassles. This year, I'm going to start staking those options out.
- Become a mechanic - No, that's not one of my 'alternative income sources.' But this year, I am going to clue back into my days tinkering with old cars to make sure I become as handy as possible (all in anticipation of finding my ideal 'Gingermobile' later this year.) I've been practicing on The Locomotive and have made remarkable progress - fixing the indicators and changing a headlight to start with. Next is to install the remote starter that Mummy Militant got me for Christmas.
- Write a book - I'm brimming with ideas, but I haven't seriously tackled writing anything but articles in over a year. In 2010, I'm going to bang out a book. I haven't decided what yet (my father gave me a great concept for a reverse-James Bond novel) but I plan to keep at it. If Stephanie Meyer can earn a $750,000 advance for her vampy melodrama, I'm sure I can too!
- Visit France again - les Grandes Militants, maman et papa Militant, are moving dogs this year and we can't wait to see where they go. The highlight of 2009 was our trip to France, which was just wonderful. We can't wait to go back this year, and hopefully catch up with family again (including introducing Mini Militant to Uncle Mycroft.)
- Visit somewhere cool in America - In 2009 it was Philadelphia and Washington D.C. - two amazing locations that are just brimming with colonial history. This year, I want to visit more of this great country - Florida (pet Hemingway's pussycats) or Colorado (see all my cool blogging friends) or maybe California. I don't know exactly where, yet - but wherever it is, 2010 is the year I get to go there.